An Angry Open Letter to CBS

June 15, 2008 at 10:23 pm | Posted in Life, Music, Thoughts | 24 Comments
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Dear CBS, Tony Directors/Producers, and the original and current cast of RENT,

I have a major grievance to air. For about a month now, you CBS, have been teasing me with reports of an original cast reunion of RENT on this year’s Tony Awards. Mae and Rosy and I jumped for joy. We vowed not to miss it. We knew this was a fabulous ploy to get all Rentheads to tune into this year’s edition, that alone should have boosted your ratings. We toyed with the idea of having a Tony’s party, but dismissed the idea on the grounds of it being Father’s Day. So, at home, I sat for hours in great anticipation of seeing and hearing the cast perform.

Insert Exhibit A: My Twitter panel from 7:00-9:35 CST 6/15/08.

  • Anthony Rapp is beautiful.

  • Might wrestle the remote from Hubby’s hands if he flips to the NBA finals ONE MORE TIME!

  • Thoroughly confused by the whole concept of Xanadu. Will not be wanting to see that anytime soon.

  • I don’t give a flip about Xanadu. I want RENT! C’mon Tonys!

  • If the cast of RENT doesn’t come on soon, I may die.

  • Love Kristin Chenoweth. “POP-u-Lar. I know about Pop-u-LAR!”

  • So freakin’ excited about seeing the original cast of RENT. Bring out my man Anthony Rapp!

  • Watching the Tony Awards!


Obviously, I was with you. Obviously, I was a faithful viewer the entire night (except for a few moments of flipping to the NBA Finals when Hubby commandeered the remote control against my will.)

First of all, you had us wait until the very last moments of the show until we were rewarded for our impatience  eager anticipation. I literally squealed with delight after each commercial in hopes that this was, in fact, the moment when it would all come together. But no, we were continually dragged down every single performance of the current and past shows of Broadway. You showed all the old highlights, heck, you even found the footage of Madonna thoroughly embarrassing herself years ago. If only I had known you were wasting such precious time.

Sidenote: Whoopi was very funny in all the montages. She was the only thing that didn’t make me want to hunt each of you down and shake you for making me wait so long.

Secondly, you gave an entire EIGHT minute spot to the cast of Xanadu.

What were you thinking?! Aside from the fact that this is the most bizarre show ever created I can appreciate a little lesson in diversity, but EIGHT whole minutes? Lily Tomlin took up five minutes just trying to introduce the stupid segment. I reluctantly muddled through. Obviously, I didn’t want to miss the performance I rushed home from my Dad’s Father’s Day dinner to see. (Yes, I did. Now you see why I am so irritated.)

Finally, the moment had arrived. I sat in front of my TV eagerly anticipating the moment of greatness. I could have cried. I almost did. Anthony Rapp is awesome (see above Tweet). Though he stumbled a little, I get it – nerves take over. After all, it is The Tonys and you had been advertising this montage as the biggest part of the show for weeks. He felt the pressure. He is still great. What I did not expect was the current cast of RENT on stage singing La Vie Boheme. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love them and appreciate the entire cast. I stood for over two hours in Times Square on Christmas Eve in 20-something degree weather on the slight chance of scoring RENT tickets. (The fact that I got third row seats is not important at this time, the point is I did it without any guarantees) I saw them, they were fabulous. Some of them even spit on me. Yeah. Good times.

Exhibit B: Picture of me being a crazy Renthead.


But I digress. The fact that the current cast seemed to get more time and coverage when the big shebang was to be for the original cast is inexcusable. I mostly wanted to see the originals. You had, I repeat, been harping on them for oh, about a month now, right?! They got a few lines each and one verse of Seasons of Love which they shared with the original cast?!

HELLO?! Am I the only one feeling jilted here? There was NOT enough of RENT, original or current!

Now, original cast members, I realize you are all busy leading fabulous lives and are crazy over-committed but I need some answers. Idina, between a new singing career and Taye you are more than busy, I get it. But, I wanted to see you as Maureen. Daphane, I realize that since your new-found fame a la your speaking part in the Sex and the City movie you are big stuff and all, but I wanted a little Out Tonight and some blue pants, even if it was just a chorus or two. Adam, you look just like you did ten years ago, I will let you slide. Anthony, you are my favorite. Freddie, your hitting the high note was the highlight for me. You go. And Jesse L. Martin, where were you? I was majorly disappointed you weren’t there. I need a good excuse. There’d better be a good excuse! Obviously, Law & Order wasn’t holding you hostage and the network wasn’t giving you grief, so what gives? And Wilson J. Heredia I am little worried about you. You need to eat something.


I am still in huge infatuation with RENT and Anthony Rapp. In another life where he is straight and I am single we will tango away together. (Just kidding, Hubby-not really!) I am still a Renthead. I am thankful to have gotten the little taste of excellence that I did. But, next time CBS, if your meager attempt at boosting your ratings ever causes me such heartbreak again I may have to take drastic action and forever boycott your programing (though let’s be real giving up Survivor, Big Brother, and Ghost Whisperer has not yet proved to have been that difficult). Take it to heart CBS, you have been warned.

All-in-all, I am a thoroughly discontented Broadway lover tonight. Seriously, get your act together!

Renheads everywhere thank you.


Tipp Rapp



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  1. i’m sorry to report i’m not into Rent. however, i like your outfit in the pic! 🙂

  2. While I’m not a die hard fan of Rent, I have to agree with you on award shows. They always tease you and then let you down!

  3. AMEN!!!!! Roger did look great though I thought!!! And Taye…Ahhhhh Taye….He never disapoints! It was cute when they said it changed their lives though..I just needed like another hour of songs and come Collins!!!

    Notice I don’t call them by their real names…I refuse to believe they aren’t the characters!

  4. I thought it was a touching tribute to Jonathan Larson but my understanding was that it was going to be a celebration of RENT going strong for 10 years and closing.

    And Xanadu I’m kind of ok with, it’s In the Heights that pisses me off.

  5. Darling, which bit did Daphne play in SATC? I think I missed it or just didn’t clue in…

  6. I am OBSESSED with Rent as well! So how the FRAK did I not know they were supposed to in the Tony’s last night?? I am so disappointed, although even if I had known, I would not have been able to see it because of a four-hour highway trip home during the entire Tony Awards.

    Must. Hunt. Youtube!

  7. Ok, I just saw it on Youtube, and I agree with everything you said. Also, though, is it just me being blind, or was Jesse L. Martin not even there??

  8. I don’t really watch Rent either, but I have to agree…Awards shows always seem to get your hopes up on to disappoint!

  9. I love Rent, but clearly not as much as you–I didn’t even WATCH the Tonys (and yes, I was watching the NBA game). But I would be pissed about that too. That is some serious false advertising.

  10. LOVE RENT! I was completely annoyed with the overabundance of Xanadu. Totally disappointed in the show.

  11. I love Rent.

    Totally NOT a Rent Head (I’m jealous and wish I knew how to be one!)

    I’m very impressed you watched the Tonys. Nice.

  12. aw i love rent, granted i’m not a true renthead, but still, love.

  13. How disappointing! I didn’t even realize the original cast of Rent was supposed to be on (shows how much I pay attention, huh?) I would have been equally disappointed. I second your letter!

  14. I like Rent and wish I would have seen that last night. It sucks they teased you for so long. I hate that!

    Love the picture of you at the theater 🙂

  15. i have that same picture but at night!!!!

    and i too was with the same anticipation as you for RENT. and i was also disappointed and we were missing some cast members! sigh.

  16. I agree with the fact that awards shows tease you a lot, but they only have so much time and a lot of awards/presentations. I am taking it that you have never seen the Tony awards presented before because it is tradition that every show up for Best Musical performs something from their show. As for time limits, they Musicals are given a time limit, but it depends on the songs they pick, some being longer than others. Yes the Rent segment was short and last, but the only reason why it was on the Tony’s in the first place is because it’s leaving Broadway. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Original Cast (I’ve met Adam on a few occasions) and the show is amazing, but there are time limits and it wasn’t Rent’s night.
    As for Xanadu, I think if you give it a chance you might like it. I was a little unsure when I saw it, but it turned out to be pretty good (and who doesn’t want to see Mr. Jackson even if he is gay?).
    I know you are just venting, but it’s an awards show just like other awards show. You can’t really expect much.

  17. […] Broadway cast showing up and performing. They had a nice tribute to the show, but as my friend Tipptalk pointed out, it was entirely too brief and didn’t deliver quite enough for those of us eager […]

  18. You are too cute. I went to see Rent in London many years ago. A mostly British cast doing it New York style. They were actually quite good. Boo to CBS is right. BTW, my aunt works for the Shakespeare Theater in Chicago, which received a Tony this weekend – she was at the awards show – lucky girl!

  19. Little Spoon- exactly. It is over after ten years and they didn’t give them anymore than a few minutes. It is a shame.

    Ben- Daphane was in the opening few minutes after the catch-up montage. She was not named, but she had a few lines. She was “a woman” talking about her relationship in the city. Not sure if it made IMDB or not but worth a check.

    JB- He was NOT there. I missed him. Sad.

    Alexa- that is crazy! I want to see it!

    Keenanator- that was my point exactly. They should have made time. It is going off Broadway after ten years. I understand the time constraints of award shows and the like, hello, cue orchestra music, but my point is that they could have cut out some of the other junk and given it more time or else they shouldn’t have harped on it being such a huge thing for a month prior to the airing. I understand they showcase all the best musicals, but if you are pulling together an old cast on a show that is closing at least give it equal time at least. They stoked it up, then they didn’t deliver. As for Xandadu I have given it a chance and I don’t like it, I think it is weird. But that is Broadway, to each his own, glad there is someone out there who like it.

  20. I hadn’t heard he hype previous to watching the Tony’s, so I was just kind of pleasantly surprised that they did the tribute at all. Although it was a bit jarring when the current cast came on and started singing! But it was nice to see (most) of the original faces, and it just made me kick myself even harder for never getting to see the performance on Broadway 😦 Oh well, I’ll just have to hang on tight to my dvd and my cast recording cds!!

    Also, I was just thinking about you because Idina was on Regis and Kelly this morning singing one of her songs, and she talked a little bit about Taye and the Tony’s. I love that girl!

  21. I must’ve been living in a cave because I didn’t hear anything about the Tony awards being last weekend. So disappointed I would have loved to see the Rent performance even if it didn’t live up to expectations and I Love the song Popular!

  22. Oh no, what a let-down – sorry for you and your Rent head buddies! I hate those adverts that string you along like that: note to self, don’t believe everything tv tells you! x M

  23. I know you posted this blog a few days ago – but I honestly thought I was the only one who felt betrayed by what CBS did with the whole Rent thing on the Tony’s. Xanadu is definitely not on the same level as Rent and never will be. And…ROARRR!
    However, I was very happy that In the Heights won best musical. Thoughts?

  24. I am so glad to see that someone else was as disappointed as I was. Rent is absolutely incredible, and the way they advertised it made it seem like the original cast would be performing. In my opinion, if Lion King got to do a musical number at the beginning when it was being recognized, the same should have been done for Rent. At least I’m not alone in my frustration!

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